Home > crowdsourcing, Freelancers, Instructional Designers > Sourcing #freelancers from “…the Crowd”, or “…from individuals IN the Crowd”?

Sourcing #freelancers from “…the Crowd”, or “…from individuals IN the Crowd”?

I was recently at an event looking at how to use a “Crowdsourcing model” for #eLearning. Broadly, there seemed to be 2 perspectives.

  1. “Crowdsourcing is a way for groups of networked individuals in a Crowd to create content for clients, and the crowd benefits”.
  2. “A Crowd enables clients to quickly assess individual skills in the group, and choose individuals for their projects”.

The first focused on benefits for the Crowd, the second focused on benefits for individuals IN a Crowd environment. I see the second option as more valid and workable. Like Star Trek – we are still individuals, and do not have a Borg “Hive-mind”, (yet!)

The Crowd (for me) is a way to link people with similar skills and aspirations, and make that accessible to clients. The end activity may not benefit the entire group, there is still a “competitive” element. Even Crowd funding still only benefits the ones that successfully.

These 2 positions were amplified in a discussion on Portfolios.

I suggested they should be on a subject of the Crowd member’s choosing, of a fixed length. Everyone would have a similar chance to shine, demonstrating their talents and vision to prospects. Some people recommended the subject should be what “the creator was passionate about”, such as a sport. I am just not convinced by this argument. Do commercial prospects REALLY want to see this?

Another view was that Portfolios should show the “skills of the Crowd” – benefitting “the whole”. I do not see this as workable or scalable. A “portfolio by committee” could be a huge and lengthy undertaking, and secondly, as soon as (say…) another 100 people join the crowd, you would have to repeat the process again.

In any herd (real or virtual) – there are leaders and followers. In any online community there are “lurkers” and “doers”. Being in a Crowd does not guarantee anyone will require the skill you offer, Crowds, for me, benefit the member IF they possess skills the rest of the herd need, and it becomes a skill-exchange from people with known skills and shared values. As they become more prevalent, the skill as I see it, is joining the correct group/community.

The Crowd provides benefits to clients if they reduce purchase time, and provide access to a community of tried and tested (?) individuals. If I were a client, I would want the Crowd to demonstrate diversity of approach, so that I could choose what I thought would work. I would just not be interested in “the Crowd” as an entity. If I audition for 4 different voiceovers I need for some eLearning, I do not want people to audition as a Barber-Shop Quartet unless I specify it. I want to use the Crowd to provide me with INDIVIDUALS as options.

I do not see a model where the Crowd benefits everyone in that Crowd, especially for eLearning. This is still a market where the INDIVIDUAL is what matters, not a Crowd of individuals. Perhaps an individual like me then goes as a client TO the Crowd, and chooses a few people to help them, but I am still unsure of how the Crowd works as a concept other then this.

I just can’t see the Crowd benefiting everyone in it. It’s another mechanism to benefit the (single) Buyer, and the few SINGLE individuals in the Crowd that end up servicing the project.

Please help me understand more – am I missing something?

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